In Uganda's Rakai district, households spend up to one-third of their annual income on each funeral, states a U.N. AIDS report. As in many African countries stricken by the AIDS epidemic, Uganda's coffin industry is a booming roadside business — one that President Bush wants to slow.
On May 27, Bush signed a $15 billion AIDS treatment and prevention plan, unveiled in his 2003 State of the Union address. The plan will triple U.S. spending on overseas AIDS relief, providing aid for five years to the 14 African and Caribbean countries most severely affected. The bill requires that at least one-third of the prevention funds be allotted to abstinence promotion, which means there will not be coverage for programs that work with prostitution, a major source of HIV infection.
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